AKC Launches Dog Training Hotline

Two puppies seemed like a great idea when Dennis and Peg Freeman decided to get a new canine addition.

Having lost their 11-year-old Labrador Retriever in the fall, the couple was ready for another dog and thought two might be even better.

“We remembered very well what an active pup Bruin was and how much attention he required,” Peg said. “So we had it in the back of our minds that perhaps this time around two pups would be better to entertain each other and therefore relieve us some of the constant attention they require.”

Ruger and Roxanne

The California couple came home with adorable black Lab pup, Ruger, and his equally cute sister, Roxanne. They were double the fun, but also double the work. Even a walk around the block dissolved into a dead stop with the puppies rolling around the ground in a playful tussle.

When the Freemans got a message about a new AKC service – the AKC GoodDog! Helpline – they did not hesitate. They enrolled and say it has been a comfort to know they can quickly get advice on raising two precocious pups.

“We have contacted AKC GoodDog! Helpline to address some issues we are having, and our trainer was of great help. Her suggestions have worked,” Peg said. “You can bet that we will continue to call the helpline when needed.”

The AKC GoodDog! Helpline launched in April and helps dog owners cope with issues encountered when raising a canine family member. Experienced dog trainers man the hotline from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday and noon to 6 p.m. (EST) Saturday. The GoodDog! Helpline is based in Raleigh, NC, home of the AKC national operations center.

Dog owners can subscribe to the service for a one-time fee, which covers the lifetime of the dog, and there is no limit on number of calls or questions.

“Being a dog owner is one of the great pleasures of life, but the American Kennel Club knows that it is not without its challenges,” said Mark Dunn, Vice President of AKC Registration and Development. “We created the AKC GoodDog! Helpline to support dog owners as they seek the best way to handle common training issues.”

The AKC Good Dog! Helpline team employs only positive reinforcement methods. The team worked with AKC staff, behaviorists and other dog trainers to develop the AKC GoodDog! Helpline guidelines. This assures callers, even though they may talk to different trainers at different times, will receive consistent advice based on positive methods.

Hawaii resident Diane Lane called for help with her adorable Maltese, who is a complete love until she sees a strange dog. Coco then transforms into a shrieking, jumping 4-pound terror. Lane talked to a GoodDog Helpline trainer who gave her feedback on addressing the issue with positive methods so Coco starts feeling that it is OK for new dogs to pass by her or her home.

“I was very happy with the assistance I got on how to train my problem barker. We are starting with training at home, where she barks at all dogs walking down the street,” Lane said. “I am beginning to see some results with calling her to come and giving her positive feedback. When she comes and sits she gets a treat.”

For more information on the service and how to subscribe, go to: www.akcgooddoghelpline.com. Questions may be directed to: (akcgooddogquestions@akc.org) akcgooddogquestions (at) akc (dot) org